NJ proposes hike in cell phone fines

State lawmakers are considering additional prohibitions on drivers who talk or text while driving.A bill sponsored by Sen. Richard Codey (D - N.J.) would increase

TRENTON - State lawmakers are considering additional prohibitions on drivers who talk or text while driving.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Richard Codey (D - N.J.) would increase fines and impose license suspensions for drivers who ignore the ban on talking or texting on hand-held phones.

The fine is currently $100. The proposed measure would increase the penalty to $250 for a second offense and $500 for subsequent offenses. The plan would also impose a 60-day license suspension for those who violate the law three times or more.

The bill gets its first hearing this afternoon in the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

The Senate panel has advanced a bill banning mass transit operators in New Jersey from using cell phones while their trains or buses are moving.

The state Assembly previously approved the measure unanimously.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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